It is no wonder that Darwin, in his "Origin of the Species," repeatedly implored his readers (seven times by my count) to ignore the fossil record if they were to understand his theory.The overwhelming weight of evidence tells us that something exotic certainly happened to produce life as we know it.Historically one of the most compelling arguments regarding the existence of God comes from the precision design found in nature.
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The Bible makes no claims as to what drove the development of life, and science has yet to provide the answer.
In paleontology's record of evolution, first came the discovery that life appeared on Earth almost 4 billion years ago, immediately after the molten globe had cooled sufficiently for liquid water to form.
This contradicted totally the theory of gradual evolution over billions of years in some nutrient-rich pool. Then we learned that some 550 million years ago, in what is known as the Cambrian explosion, animals with optically perfect eyes, gills, limbs with joints, mouths and intestines burst upon the fossil scene – with nary a clue in older fossils as to how they evolved.
It's difficult to balance two very different selves, but (hopefully) every person grows and changes significantly.
The Bible is well aware of evolution, although it is not very interested in the details of the process.
All of animal evolution gets a mere seven sentences (Genesis -26).
Genesis tells us that simple aquatic animals were followed by land animals, mammals, and finally humans.
A very interesting question came up on Twitter: When is a convert's "Jewish birthday"? Just because we've gained a new Jewish identity doesn't mean that we should no longer celebrate how we entered this world. Each one should be celebrated and appreciated individually. It should be appreciate for the very special day it is, independent of any other celebration.
The actual Hebrew date of his/her birth or the date of going to the mikvah and reemerging as a new Jewish soul? I think the hesitance that many of us have about celebrating our own birthdays (and I've heard that before, as well as experiencing it myself) has to do with our enormous efforts to distance ourselves from who we were pre-conversion. If you don't already know your birthday on the Hebrew calendar, check out the very handy Chabad birthday calculator!
I'd never thought about that before, but that's a very deep question! We aren't supposed to turn our backs on who we were before conversion, nor the people who were important to us.
And as people, we could all use more reasons to celebrate life and be happy! But very few people can celebrate the day they joined the Jewish people.